Claudio Cesa (1928-2014), who taught first in Florence and then from 1981 at the Scuola Normale of Pisa, is one of the most important historians of philosophy in the second half of the twentieth century. His studies devoted to German philosophy (from Kant to Idealism, the Hegelian Left and other) are internationally renowned. This article focuses instead on his lesserknown interest in Italian philosophy. There are two main aspects: the comparison between Italian Idealism and the German model and, more recently, a meditation on the figures and themes that characterized twentieth-century Italian thought. As to the first, Cesa made an important contribution to a long-debated question, rejecting a number of commonplaces. With regard to the second, his works on Croce, Gentile, Luporini, Garin, and others are particularly remarkable. They are all characterized by an emphasis on the tension between ‘subjectivity’ and ‘system’, between ethical-religious impulses and theory and by reference to the troubled civil history of Italy.
Keywords: Italian philosophy, Italian Idealism, Croce, Gentile, Garin, Luporini